The NHL season is finally here, and that also means that NCAA hockey is right around the corner. Each year a number of U.S. College Hockey alums perform at the highest level in the NHL.
While some take the major junior route, some of the NHL's finest chose to spend their later teens and early 20s in the dorms and classrooms. And yes, a little hockey as well. Though goal horns and catchy tunes awaited in the NHL, at one time these student athletes played in front a student section and heard fight songs and school bands. It was a time to celebrate the student athlete.
This list will examine the current top 25 NHL players, whose first glory days were at the NCAA level. This list is debatable, and there are many NCAA players at the end of their NHL careers who are not considered the best of the best today.
With that in mind, let's see where it began for these NHL stars.